As Lilly rivalry flares, Novo CEO units out Wegovy launch technique – ET HealthWorld | Pharma


London: Novo Nordisk will goal launches of its in style weight problems shot Wegovy in markets the place it already has robust gross sales of its older weight-loss drug Saxenda, CEO Lars Fruergaard Jorgensen stated, because it faces rising competitors from U.S. rival Eli Lilly.

Novo and Lilly‘s medication are the simplest therapies for weight reduction permitted thus far. Lilly’s presence within the sector has strengthened after it received approval in November in Britain, the European Union and the U.S. for its highly effective weight problems drug Zepbound.

In his first detailed feedback on how competitors is affecting his firm’s technique for its Wegovy blockbuster weekly injection, Jorgensen stated the Danish drugmaker is watching Lilly’s launches.

“I believe almost definitely they’ve a state of affairs like ours the place they’re constructing capability and have to take a look at techniques market by market,” he advised Reuters in an interview on Wednesday.

“They, I am positive, take a look at what we do, and we will likely be taking a look at what they do. That is how competitors performs out.”

Jorgensen has beforehand stated he welcomes competitors, and that there’s room for a number of medication within the fast-growing weight problems drug market, which analysts predict might be price greater than $100 billion by 2030.

Novo on Wednesday forecast one other 12 months of double-digit progress because it boosted U.S. provides of Wegovy.

The corporate goes head-to-head in opposition to Lilly’s drug within the U.S. and Germany, and Lilly stated final week it could launch in Britain “inside weeks”.

In January, Lilly additionally launched its weight-loss drug – offered as Mounjaro in Europe – in Poland, the place Novo has not but rolled out Wegovy. Jorgensen stated he was not conscious that Lilly had launched in Poland.

Novo has launched Wegovy in eight international locations together with Germany and Britain since its debut within the U.S. in 2021, with its most up-to-date launches in Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates. It would debut Wegovy in Japan, its first Asian market, subsequent month.

Jorgensen advised Reuters the choice to launch in Switzerland and the UAE was partly as a result of Novo had already established its weight problems enterprise in these international locations.

“It is simpler to begin there, in comparison with markets say the place we shouldn’t have robust Saxenda gross sales,” he stated.

Saxenda, Novo’s older and fewer efficient weight-loss drug, has seen a bounce in gross sales since provides of Wegovy ran quick after runaway demand adopted its U.S. launch.

Jorgensen reiterated that launches of Wegovy in additional European international locations, which are likely to have single-payer public well being methods, will likely be “managed”.

Novo goals to signal agreements with European governments to ensure some provide goes to essentially the most weak sufferers who can not afford to pay.


U.S. prescriptions of Zepbound have soared because the drug hit U.S. cabinets in early December, reaching 37,000 within the week to Jan. 19, information from healthcare information agency IQVIA and JPMorgan confirmed.

However they’ve but to meet up with Wegovy, which totalled 92,000 in the identical week, under the height of 135,000 hit in Could final 12 months.

A significant hurdle is assembly ferocious demand.

Eli Lilly has declined to say how a lot Zepbound and Mounjaro will probably be capable of make this 12 months because it expands its North Carolina plant, turns to contract producers and builds a plant in Germany.

One dose of Zepbound has been in scarcity this month, although the corporate predicted that may finish in February.

On Wednesday, the Danish drugmaker stated it was greater than doubling U.S. deliveries of decrease doses in contrast with latest months, the primary signal of progress in easing shortages after a year-long effort to ramp up output.

Nonetheless it expects periodic shortages.

  • Revealed On Feb 1, 2024 at 02:27 PM IST

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